Walindi resort shuts down operations

Business houses in Kimbe, West New Britain have raised concerns on the operations of their businesses if the Lockdown continues depending on how the country is addressing the COVID 19 issue.

Owner of Walindi Resort, Cheyne Benjamin said the resort is a tourist destination; the lockdown will greatly affect its operations.

“This isn’t only a health crisis but also a global economic crisis with tourism and airlines the most affected and that includes Walindi and other operators around the country including Air Niugini.

“Our business has never in its history faced anything like this - we have faced all sorts of challenges here - volcanoes etc but nothing like this.

“We have essentially lost all our income for the next three months possibly longer if this crisis continues,” she said.

She added that Walindi could not continue operating as normal.

“It has been one of the toughest things I have ever had to do to face all my more than 70 staff and basically tell them we cannot afford to keep them on anymore.” 

However, she said her team understood the crisis they are facing and what they have to do to survive as a business.

“In the hope that we will still be here and that they will still have jobs at the end of all this - they too are hurting - not to mention our spending will be significantly cut back and that will flow into the local economy - the same is happening with all tourism operators around the country.”

She also said the hardest part was not knowing how long this will all go on for.

“It could be three months or a year we just do not know. To all the other businesses in Kimbe facing hard times from this - this will end and we will get through it.”

Meantime, Prime Minister James Marape met with Central Bank Governor Loi Bakanai and all the CEOs of financial institutions in the country, requested them to defer all loan repayments for businesses and individuals.

The banks will be making some announcements soon.

More on TVWAN News tonight at 6pm.

Freddy Mou